Elective medical cosmetic procedures are just that – elective, which means they are not absolute for our survival. Rather, these treatments should improve and add to our overall quality of life. These aesthetic procedures should work well and have high patient satisfaction. With this in mind, we are fortunate to live in an era where we have incredible merging of technology and medicine. We understand human anatomy more now than ever before and have more tools at our disposal to aid in aging gracefully and improve our aesthetic quality of life. As a board-certified Plastic Surgeon, I am biased towards surgical procedures, but have always enjoyed embracing proven, non-surgical technologies and expanding their applications. I do not feel that everyone should have cosmetic surgery by the time they hit 40. In fact, I feel undergoing aesthetic surgery is a very personal matter not to be taken lightly and certainly not to be commoditized or presented as a “simple” or “quick fix.”
I do feel, however, there exist a handful of incredible minimally and non-invasive elective treatments that “everyone” should have by the time they turn forty.
- Kybella – The world’s first FDA-approved, permanent fat dissolving injection. Do I even need to say anything else? If I was at dinner with friends 10 years ago and told everyone that I had in my possession a teaspoon of a clear, odorless water-like solution that would permanently destroy fat cells on contact, my hard-earned MD degree would have been in question. Well…it’s real and it’s here. This incredible “double-chin” injection is as I like to call it— surgery in a syringe℠. The series of non-surgical injection treatments are performed in the office and permanently kill fat cells and tighten the neck skin. Patients with that stubborn chin fat and unsightly selfie are incredible candidates. Even more exciting is where else I am injecting this fat fighting medication and seeing phenomenal results in tough to get rid of small pockets of fat.
Attention all MEN, about 40% of my patients in New York City seeking double-chin destruction are men. This is often their first entrant into the cosmetic arena, and there is no shame in that. There is a strong genetic component to this stubborn fat pad. No amount of exercise and dieting makes it go away in many individuals. No surgery required to eliminate the double-chin look, anymore.
- miraDry – This innovative technology non-surgically and permanently destroys sweat glands, odor producing glands and hair follicles in the axilla (underarms). If you woke up this morning and put on any type of antiperspirant or deodorant…you should have miraDry. It is safe and very effective (FDA cleared). miraDry works incredibly well for patients who have hyperhidrosis (excess underarm sweating) AND in my patients looking for lifestyle type improvement. This means individuals wanting to be liberated from wearing harsh chemicals EVERY morning for the rest of their lives should be treated. Look at your antiperspirant in the medicine cabinet. The active ingredient is Aluminum. If you buy organic anything to be healthy or don’t want GMO food, putting elemental metals on your body everyday forever doesn’t make sense. I have patients under 40 come in for miraDry all the time. Active or not so active people don’t have time to be slowed down by unwanted sweat and odor.
- Neuromodulators aka “Botox” – The gold standard for wrinkle erasing. By age forty, you wouldn’t expect too many wrinkles and creases in the forehead, around the eyes or between the eyebrows, but there is also a nice preventative side to this well-known anti-aging treatment. A few injections on your lunch break a few times per year helps keep the very active muscles in your face in check. The “frozen” look is not a must and falling out of favor. Most of my young patients want natural results with faces still maintaining motion. There is still lessening of the severity of the lines and creases that are inevitable as we mature.
Again, pay attention, men. “Brotox” is the colloquial term referring to getting a few injections to soften the harsh lines and creases that result from the maturing process. Men can get neuromodulator injections (medical speak for medications that temporarily decrease muscle use) and still maintain their masculine appearance. It’s all about going to the right doctor who understands the male aesthetic and treats lots of male patients.
- Dermal Fillers – It is a known fact that as we age, we lose volume in all of the right places and gain it in all of the wrong spots. The reason dermal fillers “are a must” before you hit forty isn’t because you have to have plump lips, it’s more because maintaining volume in strategic places on your face will keep your youthful appearance intact. Some experts also feel that preventative “Botox” injections and therapeutic gentle fillers along with Number 5 below help stave off the likelihood of needing an early facelift.
- Laser Resurfacing – Lasers are a broad term used erroneously often to describe many types of skin treatments. Resurfacing lasers are lasers used to strategically and precisely remove superficial layers of skin down to deeper layers that are stimulated to heal with a resulting radiant effect. Laser resurfacing is a procedure that uses a laser to improve the appearance of skin texture and quality and treat minor facial flaws by removing damaged skin. In addition, resurfacing lasers stimulate collagen growth, help get rid of fine lines and creases, and remove environmental trauma to the skin (sun spots).